Geoffrey's Hypnosis Articles

Motivation & the Inner Game

I am often called upon in my hypnotherapy practice to help people motivate themselves more effectively. This can extend to successfully thinking about your job or career, about making money and having abundance in your life, or to maximizing your sports performance.

Hypnosis can be a very effective way to motivate sportsmen and has been used for

many years now for enhancing athletic performance, especially in baseball, tennis, football, boxing, skiing and golf. The techniques for helping to enhance sports performance are broadly the same as motivating performance for anything you care to name.

I recently saw a professional sportsman who made his living playing on the world circuits. He complained that his performance in competitions over the last six months was mediocre and he was losing the will to win. He had suffered an injury, but he had fully recovered now after taking time off, but he was unable to return to his past form.

When I enquired about what had happened in a recent competition, he described hearing a voice inside that him told him “he was completely useless” and “why should he now bother to go on with the competition.” That voice was his ego. I explained that the conscious mind (Brain 1) was always judgmental and he needed to improve his relationship with the unconscious mind (Brain 2). Playing a better game starts by having a clear picture of your desired outcome to win; learning to be “non-judgmental” by observing what was happening rather than noticing only how badly it was happening; and learning to trust Brain 2 to perform at its best, because it knows exactly what to do.

I taught him how to completely switch into Brain 2, his unconscious mind, during the game. Brain 2 knew exactly what to do: how much pressure or force it should use: the exact trajectory of the shot; where it should bounce and how much back spin was required–visualizing in his mind the ball landing in the exact position he desired. By shutting down that judgmental inner voice, he was totally relaxed and the complex co-ordination of mind and body needed to make that shot was given over and entrusted to the unconscious mind.

Hypnosis can provide some further tools. For example, in order to go into the hypnotic state for the game, he was taught a “trigger,” such a wiping his brow with a wristband or pressing thumb and forefinger together. Suggestions were given that he would not hear any noise from the watching crowd or even see the surroundings.

I recommend an excellent book called “The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey. It’s a good foundation for all sports psychology and indeed for anything that you wish to be motivated in.

How often does the ego or Brain1 sabotage that motivation by saying, “I cannot possibly do that,” or “It’s beyond my capability,” or “I am stupid and lazy,” or “I cannot make this cold call because I cannot abide someone being rude to me.”

The word “sabotage” comes from the industrial revolution of 19th century France, when exploited workers showed their distaste for bad working conditions and low pay by throwing their wooden shoes, called ‘sabots’ in French, into the machinery – hence the word sabotage. The English talk about “throwing a spanner (monkey wrench) into the works.” How often have we done this to ourselves? Just think of all those missed opportunities that have flown by right under our noses, which we didn’t take up!

Why do we sabotage ourselves from time to time? Well, we let our big ego get in the way instead of following the instinct of the non-judgmental unconscious mind. Follow your instincts and listen to that inner voice, or feeling, or sense talking to you.

I have clients coming to me to help them make important decisions in their life. Should I leave my wife and children and seek a divorce? Should I run for political office or leave it for another election time? Should I go ahead and commence litigation against a family friend? I don’t presume to advise them, but I help them by-pass their egos and get in touch with what they are really feeling.

By using the hypnotic state, clients have found satisfactory answers to important questions in their lives and have been grateful for being shown a powerful tool that has helped them make the right decision. It is not necessarily a painless decision. The human mind will do everything in its power to avoid pain – both physical and emotional. That is why we find it so difficult to make changes in our lives. However, when we listen to our inner mind, we can play the game of life so much better and easier.

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